Sunday night’s 28th annual Critics Choice Awards once again brought together a star-studded group of nominees across TV and film, but some of the best moments of the Century City-based show didn’t make it to air. With The Hollywood Reporter inside the room, here are the top things the TV cameras didn’t show.
Covid Strikes Back
“I hope this isn’t a superspreader — I heard that the Globes was a bit of a superspreader, that’s the word on the street,” Natasha Lyonne mused to THR on the carpet, and indeed several big names who had been at Tuesday’s show — including Jamie Lee Curtis, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson — had to miss Critics Choice after testing positive.
Kerry Condon was left to hold it down for The Banshees of Inisherin team, revealing that co-star Barry Keoghan and her brother, who was supposed to be her date for the event, were also “stuck down.”
“I’m a good girl, I’ve been to bed early and been not drinking, been doing all the oregano,” she joked, adding, “You know what, I’m sick of it. I actually want to say, on the record, I hope people are getting tested for STDs as much as they’re getting for COVID. Just putting that out there, as the new Fauci.”
Christina Applegate’s Red Carpet Return
The Dead to Me star made her first appearance at a Hollywood event since her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, as co-star James Marsden said he was “very happy about that. We’ll have a great time just there to support each other and celebrate what we’ve done the last three or four years.” Arriving in a mask and with bedazzled cane, Applegate shared long heartfelt moments with Julia Roberts and Kate Hudson between commercial breaks.
The fandom around the Indian flick and its hit song “Naatu Naatu” continues to grow, as do its awards season victories, having picked up both Golden Globes and Critics Choice wins in the last week. “It’s overwhelming, on cloud nine,” composer MM Keeravani said of the support, as director SS Rajamouli continued, “It’s always great to have people who adore your work, who encourage you to be better at what we do. It’s a big deal to have that kind of support. You really feel humbled by it and we are grateful for that.” The RRR team certainly felt the support on Sunday, as the likes of Seth Rogen and Todd Field came over to offer congratulations after the win.
Award Show Awards
Aside from her onstage victory as best actress, Cate Blanchett also won the “biggest social butterfly” award at Sunday’s show, using the frequent commercial breaks to catch up with Viola Davis, Michelle Yeoh, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Julia Garner, Jennifer Coolidge, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Henry Winkler and Austin Butler. Julia Roberts was a close second, also circling the room to visit with Applegate, Coolidge, Tony Kushner and Tár‘s Nina Hoss. And though his Elvis performance was not recognized, Butler took home the “most selfies requested” honor, after he was constantly swarmed by supporters at every free moment.
Critics Choice is always guaranteed to have some good Hollywood elbow-rubbing, and this year was no different. The Top Gun: Maverick cast of Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis and Monica Barbaro reunited, as Michelle Williams (and date Busy Philipps) caught up with the Severance cast and Quinta Brunson hugged it out with Angela Bassett. Newcomers Gabriel LaBelle and Thuso Mbedu also exchanged compliments, while Ben Foster and Laura Prepon chatted with Paul Dano and House of the Dragon‘s Matt Smith and Alcock visited with Daisy Edgar-Jones and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s Ismael Cruz Córdova.
Award Season Survival Hacks
For many of the nominees, Sunday night capped a busy week — and weekend — of campaigning, with the pedal to the metal until Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 24. And for some, like Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s Stephanie Hsu, it’s been almost a year of promotion. So how do these stars keep the energy up when the events feel never-ending? For the A24 film, “We love each other so much and we love our movie, and what’s so wild is so many people still haven’t seen it so that’s been a huge driving force in being able to say, ‘This is still something we really believe in and we understand that the success of this movie means so much for our industry and how it shakes it up and what’s possible in the future,’” Hsu explained. “It’s like a baton pass where if one of us is tired, someone else picks it back up and we go for a second.” For Glass Onion‘s Kate Hudson, a wellness entrepreneur in her own right, she, of course, opts to “make products that help me. Lots of vitamin C, lots of zinc, lots of water, and you try to sleep — and you pick your nights to really celebrate.”
Best Picture Faves
With awards season in full swing and Oscar noms around the corner, THR polled stars on their favorite films of the year, with Triangle of Sadness seeming to come out on top. Lyonne and Paul Walter Hauser both chose the cruise comedy, as Rian Johnson named it alongside Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Banshees of Inisherin and The Fabelmans. Dano praised Everything Everywhere All at Once, No and Aftersunwith Ayo Edebiri joking, “I loved TárI went crazy for Tár and I haven’t stopped thinking about it; I loved Decision to Leave, I loved Triangle of SadnessI loved Yes; I loved a lot of the art girl movies.”
While the Critics Choice Awards provided a big night out for most casts and crews to celebrate together, there were a handful of nominees, including Andor‘s Diego Luna, who arrived at the show as a party of one.
“It’s insane with the schedule of TV; there’s no time to celebrate,” Luna explained as the night’s only Andor representative, while season two of the Disney+ series is underway. “I finished this first season when episode nine came out, which was October; we started shooting season two in November. This is the first time I’m actually going to celebrate and it’s quite weird because I’m celebrating here by myself because everyone else is shooting in London. So I’m going to get wasted tonight in the name of all my beautiful team that I work with, but yeah. We will get to season two at the end and will celebrate like crazy.”
Critics Choice Cuisine
Inside the ballroom (where an announcement was made at the beginning that all winners would be allowed only 30 seconds for their speeches), guests were met with a slightly underwhelming spread of purees and bread offerings. This led to several onstage jokes, including one from The Dropout‘s Liz Meriwether who teased, “I feel like I’m going to throw up just breadsticks.” Coldstone, though, as one of the sponsors, brought a needed sugar rush to the show, with ice cream and cookies passed out towards the end of the night; to close things down, as stars waited for their cars at the Fairmont Century Plaza valet, some afterparty snacks including sushi, flatbread and pasta were quickly snagged for the road.